A Simulation-Based Approach for Evaluating Cost and Performance of a Sediment Removal and Processing System for the Lower Susquehanna River Dams

Main Article Content

Saqib Qureshi
Raymond Fontaine
Samuel Saleeb
Joel Stein

Abstract

A series of three major dams and reservoirs located along the Lower Susquehanna River have historically acted as a system of sediment and nutrient pollution traps.  However, episodic pulses of these pollution loads are released following short-term extreme storm events, affecting subaquatic vegetation, benthic organisms, and the overall water quality in the Upper Chesapeake Bay.  In addition, all three reservoirs have reached a state of near maximum storage capacity termed as dynamic equilibrium.  Based on prior research, this study seeks to reduce the sediment buildup behind the dams through a sediment removal and processing operation, and thereby reduce the ecological impact of major storms.  A set of scour performance curves derived from a regression analysis, and a stochastic lifecycle cost model were used to evaluate the sediment scouring reduction and economic feasibility of three processing alternatives:  Plasma Vitrification, Cement-Lock, and Quarry/Landfill, and three removal amount cases:  Nominal, Moderate, and Maximum.  Since the scour performance curves treat the dams as static, a fluid system dynamics model was used to determine if the dynamic interaction between the capacitance of the dams during major scouring events is negligible or considerable.  A utility vs. cost analysis factoring in time, performance, and suitability of the alternatives indicates that a Cement-Lock processing plant at moderate dredging for the Safe Harbor and Conowingo Dams is the most cost-performance effective solution.

Article Details

How to Cite
Qureshi, S., Fontaine, R., Saleeb, S., & Stein, J. (2015). A Simulation-Based Approach for Evaluating Cost and Performance of a Sediment Removal and Processing System for the Lower Susquehanna River Dams. Industrial and Systems Engineering Review, 3(2), 107-116. https://doi.org/10.37266/ISER.2015v3i2.pp107-116
Section
Articles

References

Ain, R., Cazenas, K., Gravette, S., & Masoud, S. (2014). Design of a Dam Sediment Management System to Aid Water Quality Restoration of the Chesapeake Bay. Systems and Information Engineering Design Symposium, 2014.

Appendix T. Sediments Behind the Susquehanna Dams Technical Documentation. (2010). The Chesapeake Bay TMDL Documents – US EPA.

Beneficial Uses of Great Lakes Dredged Material. (2001). The Great Lakes Commission (GLC).

The Chesapeake Bay Program (CBP): Facts and Figures. (2012). Retrieved October 1, 2014, from http://www.chesapeakebay.net/discover/bay101/facts

Ji, Z.-G. (2008). Hydrodynamics and Water Quality: Modeling Rivers, Lakes, and Estuaries. Hoboken, N.J: Wiley-Interscience.

Langland, M. (2009). Bathymetry and Sediment-Storage Capacity Change in Three Reservoirs on the Lower Susquehanna River, 1996–2008. U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report, 2009-5110.

Langland, M., & Koerkle, E. (2014). Calibration of a One-Dimensional Hydraulic Model (HEC-RAS) for Simulating Sediment Transport Through Three Reservoirs, Lower Susquehanna River Basin, 2008-2011. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Lower Susquehanna River Watershed Assessment.

Langland, M. (2015). Sediment Transport and Capacity Change in Three Reservoirs, Lower Susquehanna River Basin, Pennsylvania and Maryland, 1900-2012. U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report, 2014-1235.

The Lower Susquehanna River Watershed Assessment (LSRWA) Draft Main Report. (2014). U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (US ACE).

McLaughlin, D., Dighe, S., Ulerich, N., & Keairns, D. (1999). Decontamination and Beneficial Reuse of Dredged Estuarine Sediment: The Westinghouse Plasma Vitrification Process.

Menefee D. (2014, November 14). Maryland Politics: Clean Chesapeake Coalition at Odds with Corps of Engineers New Report on Conowingo Dam. Talbot Spy Maryland. Retrieved from http://www.talbotspy.org

Mensinger, M. (2008). Sediment Decontamination Program - Cement-Lock Technology. Gas Technology Institute.